Father's Day is approaching fast. It's not time to panic quite yet, but it's usually kind of hard to shop for dad. Trust me, I am one.
If I want something, I'll save up and buy it myself, but I don't really want anything that I don't need and/or costs less than $75,000. So, unless you're planning to buy me a beach condo, you're not going to deliver exactly what I want. But you can get me something I really like that is a great symbol that you, as my kid, or my wife, as my kid's proxy, knows how to make me smile, which you do.
So, if you're buying for someone like me, then you should probably look for a golf gift, which is something that can remind me of you each and every time I play. But, your budget may be limited. It could be $20. It could be $500 and, if that's the case, then I want you to be my kid.
With that in mind, here are some great Father's Day gift choices for most any budget.
Kentwool golf socks ($15-$20): Socks. Again?! WTF? That's NOT what the dad in your life will say when he puts on Kentwool golf socks. They're incredible. They're life-changing. In fact, you could buy dad a pair of these socks for the next 10 Father's Days in advance and he'd let you off the hook for the next decade. They're the ultimate golf sock: perfectly padded, moisture wicking and almost impossible to ruin with a hole in the toe or heel. With a variety of styles, any dad would be glad.
Els for Austism Father's Day Birdiebox ($80-$250): Birdiebox is a service which, each month, puts together a box of golf goodies, ranging from clothes to books to training aids, and delivers them to folks who buy them as part of a subscription or as a one-off. For Father's Day, Birdiebox has put together a box that supports Els for Autism, an organization whose aspirations and fundraising efforts we've chronicled before here. There are three tiers of Birdiebox available, starting with a Silver box that offers an Els for Austism blue polo, Stable26 custom-fit socks, a sleeve of TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf balls and the book "Two Good Rounds," which is an off-course, laid-back look at some of the great names in golf. Two additional packages offer some more goodies for more money.
"Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour" ($11.84 on Kindle, $19.57 hardcover): My buddy Shane Ryan has a new book coming out just in time for the U.S. Open and Father's Day. It's an exquisite study of a number of the PGA Tour's stars with an emphasis on the younger generation about to take over from Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. It's a quick read with information the golf-obsessed dad will love to tell his buddies on the course.
Arccos Golf performance tracking system ($299): If you've got a good budget for dad and he spends a lot of time on the course, then Arccos Golf is for him. In concert with his iPhone or other Apple device, Arccos will plot every shot he plays during the round using GPS and will spit out performance data in real time. It'll also help him to analyze his problem areas and learn what will help his game most. That's good news for you, too. Instead of getting a shot-by-shot replay of his round, you'll get truncated whining about why he needs to fix his chipping. | READ OUR REVIEW
DST compression trainer ($99): Every shot matters in golf, but hitting crisp wedges is extra crucial in scoring well. That's why DST's compression training product is a great gift. It may look a little funky, but the training club, available in a wedge or 8-iron, simulates the proper golf club position at impact. A number of tour pros use it in their warm-up sessions, and its rapidly developing popularity should tell you something about the theory behind it.
A trip to TPC Sawgrass (starting at $145): Most every golfer wants to play TPC Sawgrass, whose Stadium Course is home to The Players Championship. Now that the PGA Tour's crown jewel is complete, Dad can play and stay there. A round at the Stadium Course is on offer for $320, which includes a picture to remember the day and a dozen Bridgestone Golf balls. Add in a night at the Sawgrass Marriott with breakfast for just $105 more. Or, if you're looking to do something more economical, set Dad up with a round at the recently renovated Dye's Valley Course on the property, home to the Web.com Tour Championship for just $145.
Izzo Golf Swami Sport GPS ($80): If the golf dad in your life doesn't have a GPS unit (or a laser rangefinder), then he doesn't know what he's missing. Or maybe he does but he's just too cheap or lazy to go get one himself. This unit is perfect for a Father's Day gift because it is three things: reasonably priced, very accurate and delivers with long battery life. It shows distances to the front, center and back of each green on every course dad will ever play. | READ OUR REVIEW
OptiShot 2 golf simulator ($499): Maybe dad has a home office or just can't seem to get out of the house for five hours to play golf. Or maybe you like that dad golfs, but you really want him around the house. Well, let him enjoy golf in indoor comfort with the OptiShot 2 golf simulator. The OptiShot has a small footprint, so all Dad needs is the supplied mat (and, for a limited time, the Callaway Golf net) that comes with the product, a computer with an Internet connection and a place to make a full swing. Dad can use the supplied foam balls or real ones. With every shot, OptiShot's infrared sensors will read your dad's swing at impact and give him detailed, actionable information. He can either practice, play fun games or enjoy a round of real golf by himself or add in up to three more buddies. A round can be played in as little as an hour. And with OptiShot Live, Dad can compete with players around the world on simulated versions of golf's most iconic courses.
Alial Fital golf shirts ($89-$149): Dad is special. Dad is unique. So why not give him a gift only 99 other people will ever have? Alial Fital, founded by former NFL quarterback Gibran Hamdan, makes awesome-looking golf shirts at a great cost. They have a unique, classic look that he'll love. Even more interesting, Hamdan only makes 100 of each shirt style. So there's almost no chance of running into another guy with the same look on the course. It's good for you, too, since Dad is going to look stylish, not goofy, as he steps out in public.
Seamus Golf headcovers: Headcovers should be a reflection of a golfer's personality, their interests and their eye for the world. They should also fundamentally look good, last a long time and function well. That's what Seamus Golf offers with their wool headcovers. They come in most every conceivable desirable style, including a strong selection of tartans. They'll fit any driver, fairway wood or hybrid. They also make bottle bags and dopp kits among other very appealing products.
Callaway Golf Bertha Mini 1.5 driver ($299): Most dads that play golf aren't good at golf, especially if they're at home being good dads. So, they probably have a hard time getting off the tee, and they probably have considered breaking their driver over their knee at least a few times each round. Give him the gift of fairways, then, with Callaway Golf's new Bertha Mini 1.5 driver. It's not quite as long of a driver, giving Dad more control of the club, but the smaller head has a stronger loft than a standard fairway wood, so it flies longer. The idea is that, in exchange for sacrificing a little bit of distance, Dad can find more fairways and score better. It's kind of a metaphor for parenthood. | SEE OUR PREVIEW
TaylorMade Golf RSi 1 and RSi 2 irons ($600-$1000): Continuing with the golf-as-fatherhood metaphor, dads need a little forgiveness. We try hard, but we come up short a lot. So if we have something that gives us a little more oomph, then we'll do better. That's what TaylorMade's RSi line of irons is intended to do, offering more forgiveness on off-center hits thanks to flexible vertical pockets on the sides of the face of most irons in the set. The ball travels a little further and not so far offline thanks to the technology. If the dad in your life hasn't picked up a new set of irons in a while, he's going to absolutely flip when he gets these in his hands. I've seen it firsthand. | READ OUR REVIEW
Snell Golf golf balls ($21-$32): Dad will have his buddies' attention when he whips out one of Dean Snell's golf balls. Dad may not know Dean, but there's a really good chance he's played a ball with one of Dean's patents attached. Snell has stepped out on his own and is offering two phenomenal golf balls directly to consumers. The Get Sum ball is a value-price two-piece ball for the average to worse-than-average player who wants feel and better control off the club face. Snell's My Tour Ball is, as the name describes, in the category of a top-tier, pro-grade ball, but anywhere from $10-$20 cheaper than he'd find at a retail store. Get him a few dozen or a sampler pack.